ISP Usage Based Billing in Canada

 Most of you probably don't know, but a group in Canada (CRTC - Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission) is implementing ISP Usage Based Billing in Canada, starting March 1.  

Here is some background reading to inform you on the topic
Official Decision and Statement
Some consumer backlash
Group and Petition against the cap
What does this mean?
This means that if you go over your bandwidth cap (usually 25-50 gigs) in a month you have to pay the ridiculous amount of 1-2 dollars PER GIG that you go over.  
I don't think it will affect things like gaming (XBL, PSN, Wii, etc....) but it really will hurt when you buy something off STEAM and have a 20 Gig download sitting there and you get charged for downloading something you purchased.
Steam is going to get killed, OnLive is going to get smoked, as well as my new favorite toy - Netflix.  
I know that Canada is a big place and to set up the infrastructure across the country costs a bunch and we don't have the population density to pay for it.  But honestly, in this day and age where technology is so prevalent and I use the internet from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep, I am just really upset about how this turned out. 
Some of the only options now are to talk to the MP (gov't rep) and get a voice heard, but even that seems like a drop in the bucket.  
Anyways - just curious to see what people's thoughts were and if anyone else has experienced UBB and caps in their country.    

PSP Sloppy seconds - 5 RPGs you should check out

This time I dig a little deeper into the PSP vault and come out with some RPG gems that I think people should give a chance, granted they have the palette for certain styles.  Again this is one of those "Top Games" list, but some games that may have been passed over or that I want people to try. 

  1. Final Fantasy Crisis Core - a mission based Final Fantasy?  The bite sized structure makes this perfect for the platform and the PSP hardware flexes its muscle here.  The active battle system and customizable skill system streamlines the game and sends you into a great variety of missions that can take you anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes depending on what kind of time frame you are working with.  This is a great portable RPG and for those that complain that they don't "have an hour to play with their portable system" then put this in their hands because it will satisfy their every need for an RPG. 
  2. Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis - a hidden gem and an overlooked JRPG.  It is the lovechild of the crafting system in Dark Cloud and the social setting of Persona.  You play as a fledgling Alchemist in school that gets drawn into a typical RPG story.  Save the world (school).  The appealing quality of this game is the fact that the main mechanic of the game is being able to combine all the fat loot you find off monsters into big powerful items that aid you in your quest.  Not for everyone, but it has that crafting hook that can get quite addictive. 
  3. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness - not a straight up RPG, but a strategy one that I think shines on this platform.  Beyond the quirky, dark humor lies a great strategy RPG that has you commanding an army across a battlegrid.  Fully customizable characters and over-the-top battles make this a great package that has so much content packed into it you could play forever.  I like this more than Final Fantasy Tactics because it is gives you more customization and control over your party members and doesn't fall into the dry-spell that FFTactics falls into. 
  4. Valkyrie Profile 2 - Probably the most unconventional RPG I have played.  You play as a valkyrie preparing for the ultimate battle of Ragnarock.  You must gather your army of souls within a certain time period, which forces the player to make some tough decisions on who is going to be in your party and who doesn't make the cut.  Aside from the time-limit the adventure mechanic is also very unique.  You traverse each area as a side scrolling platformer and when you encounter enemies it drops you into a standard RPG battle screen. A great game for someone who is tired/bored of conventional RPGs and wants something different and challenging. 
  5. Lunar Silver Star Harmony - The opposite of the above entry.  Lunar is as standard as you get for JRPGs but you cannot it against it because it does it so well.  The story, the characters, the world all add up to an amazing experience that you cannot pass up. Although dated, the mechanics and gameplay hold up but don't expect anything outside of the box on this one, simply a great story driven RPG classic. 

The PSP generally gets a bad rap for not having a great library and I wanted to alleviate some of that pressure.  Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to get to the gold and hopefully I did most of the digging for you. 

Video rendition here:


The start of the year, kicking it off with some quick PSP love

My friend Aaron asked me for a list of PSP games that I thought he should check out.  Here is a quick list of what I think you should try out. 

1.  Crush - great puzzle platform game where you change the perspective of the camera from a side scrolling view to a top down view.  Definitely a mind bender towards the later levels but a great puzzle game that you can play on the go.  

2. Metal Slug Anthology - bullet hell classic from Neo Geo that has you battling through 6 different Metal Slug games in the series complete with unlockables.  The best part is that  you get infinite continues, and trust me you will need them - I almost ran out. 

3. Valkyria Crhonicles 2 - Turn based strategy of the next generation.  An alternate take on wars of the past where you take command of a band of troops consisting of snipers, lancers, scouts, and gunners. Customization is a strong point along with the beautiful cell shaded graphics. Portable strategy at its finest here.   

4. Final Fantasy Dissidia - Pit all the heroes, villains and everyone in between from the Final Fantasy series in an (almost) endless battle.  Each character has a variety of skills and this leads to a different playstyle for each of them.  A surprisingly strong 3d fighting game with competent battle mechanics from Square Enix. 

5. Half Minute Hero - The pinnacle of portable gaming.  Taking an epic RPG and condensing it down into 30 second chunks is genius, and they execute it very well.  Filled with humor and a variety of game styles, HMH is something that every PSP owner should own.  

Check out the video here:


Super Street Fighter 4 definitely hits hard

So I broke my regular arcade stick last night, which prompted me to immediately run to and purchase my new buttons and joystick.   In the mean time I borrowed a TE stick from work and that definitely makes a difference to my game.  
Guile is still strong but I'm looking at that lovely gentleman named Dudley...
Merz out.